Months after Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that hundreds of children were brought to New York City as part of the federal government’s “zero tolerance” immigration detention plan, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said the city is “getting ready to do something” about the matter.
Carranza mentioned the update during a keynote speech at the Hispanic Education Summit on Tuesday, where he touched on school integration and English language learners before turning to immigration.
He directed sharp criticisms at the federal government’s handling of immigration and specifically its policy of placing children in detention centers away from their parents.
“And when the mayor and the chancellor in this city demand to know where are those children, how do we serve those children, how do we get our counselors into those shelters, how do we get our teachers into those shelters, how do we make sure our children are being taken care of–we are told, ‘You have nothing to do with this particular issue. It’s a federal matter,’” Carranza said.
Then, he added, “We’re getting ready to do something about that, by the way” without elaborating.
In June, de Blasio said 350 children had passed through New York City’s Cayuga Centers, an agency based in the state that contracts with the federal government to run daycares for unaccompanied children and place them in temporary foster care. De Blasio said that 239 of the children had been placed in the center’s care, unbeknownst to city officials, despite questions posed to the federal government about the children’s whereabouts, schooling and treatment.
Federal policy says that any child on United States soil should have access to public education.
A majority of these children have been reunited with their parents, WNYC reported in August.
In July, Miami-Dade Public Schools chief Alberto M. Carvalho wrote a letter to the Trump administration after as many as 1,000 children were sent to a nearby detention facility. He called it a “troubling decision” and noted that his district was left in the dark, even though education officials believed Florida state law required those children to receive some sort of instruction.
Asked for more details, spokespeople at the city Department of Education said they had no additional information at this time.
A spokesman for de Blasio said he had nothing more to add.